Steep is Flat
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The approach couloir.
This route climbs four pitches on the steep upper wall of Flattop's southeast face.
To reach the climbing, ascend 1000' or so of easy snow and some moderate rock from the lake until you're high in a narrow couloir. The couloir continues up and right whereas this line breaks left onto a steep wall below a large, obvious chockstone.
Pitch 1: Climb past the chockstone on the left, then trend up through snowy ledges interspersed with harder moves toward the arete. Surmount the arete with great exposure, using face holds to pull onto an angled ledge (35m, M5).
Pitch 2: Rocky-Mountain ice pitch. Climb straight up from the belay toward a large corner system swinging into a smattering of steep frozen turf and ice. Pull over a steep chockstone and continue up a chimney (30m, M4).
Pitch 3: Continue straight up the right-facing corner and chimney system, pulling two steep overhangs with good gear (30m, M5/6).
Pitch 4: Continue up the chimney and over a bulge to the summit (30m, M4/5).
With good rope management, it would be possible to do the route in three pitches. Beware of loose rock and large snow mushrooms (depending on the time of year), which may require tunneling.
Choose your own adventure to reach the narrow couloir below the center of the headwall on the southeast face.
Standard winter rack.
Pitch 3 crux.
BETA PHOTO: Here is our line in purple. A direct-start variat...
|Comments on Steep is Flat
Mar 13, 2013
Did this route last year with different variations.... Great winter mountain route.... Almost better that the old route....
|By erik rieger|
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 14, 2013
Could you elaborate a bit more? Once the first pitch is done, you're tunneled into a large chimney/corner system, and you'd have to try really hard to break from the line. So I'm a bit confused how you could climb the same route "differently." If you've done it, that's cool, I'll change the info. The climbing is steeper and more serious than the old route.